Rumen protozoa are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids due to the ingestion of chloroplasts

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Huws, S. A., Kim, E. J., Kingston-Smith, A. H., Lee, M. R. F., Muetzel, S. M., Cookson, A. R., Newbold, C. J., Wallace, R. J. and Scollan, N. D. 2009. Rumen protozoa are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids due to the ingestion of chloroplasts. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 69 (3), pp. 461-471.

AuthorsHuws, S. A., Kim, E. J., Kingston-Smith, A. H., Lee, M. R. F., Muetzel, S. M., Cookson, A. R., Newbold, C. J., Wallace, R. J. and Scollan, N. D.
Abstract

Within this study, we investigated whether the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)-rich nature of rumen protozoa is a consequence of ingestion of PUFA-rich chloroplasts. Four Hereford × Friesian steers were offered hay [low 18:3 (n-3) and low chlorophyll concentration] followed by freshly cut perennial ryegrass [high 18:3 (n-3) and high chlorophyll concentration] for 16 days. On the 14th and 16th days, rumen protozoa as well as attached and planktonic bacteria were fractionated 1 h before (−1 h), 2 and 6 h postfeeding, and their fatty acid concentrations determined. Protozoa fractionated from fresh grass-fed steers were richer (P<0.05) in PUFA, except conjugated linoleic acid, for all time points compared with those from hay-fed steers. Protozoal density was higher (P<0.05) for grass compared with hay. Entodinomorphid abundance was 3.4 times higher on fresh grass (P<0.01) compared with hay. Confocal microscopy and transmission electron microscopy confirmed that Epidinium spp. were commonly saturated with intracellular cytoplasmic chloroplasts. These data suggest that engulfment of chloroplasts is a major contributor to the high 18:3 (n-3) concentration of protozoa.

Year of Publication2009
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Journal citation69 (3), pp. 461-471
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/j.1574-6941.2009.00717.x
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online03 Aug 2009
ISSN0168-6496
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)

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